Lawmaker resigns chairmanship following investigation

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Rep. David Sawyer has resigned as the chairman of the House Commerce and Gaming Committee a day after an outside investigation that he violated the chamber’s policies on harassment, decorum and ethics.

The chief clerk of the House notified House staff of the decision Wednesday and Sawyer confirmed it via email.

The investigation found Sawyer, a Democrat from Tacoma, sent a House employee multiple “inappropriate and offensive” text messages over a period of three months. It also found he made comments and jokes about another House employee’s sexual orientation, and used employees’ time to discuss a newspaper’s investigation into sexual harassment allegations against him.

Sawyer apologized and said in an email Tuesday that clear that I messed up and that it’s time for me to acknowledge some personal mistakes.”

Sawyer is up for re-election this year, and Democrat Melanie Morgan, a Franklin Pierce District school board member, has filed to run against him